Do Sportsmen/women Really Benefit From Twitter?
Twitter is now a worldwide sensation within the Rich and Famous. With verified twitter accounts from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Lebron James (along with many more sporting stars), I have decided to investigate whether having twitter creates a positive or negative effect around the well known and admired sporting stars.
Before we look into the negative effects that Twitter can have on the worlds’ sportsmen/women, I will first talk about the positive effects that a sporting star can experience when using one of social media’s favourite commerce; Twitter.
Twitter is a powerful website that allows users to connect and engage with their sporting heroes whether it be a one way conversation or actually receiving a response or retweet from their sporting role model. England and Manchester United footballer; Rio Ferdinand has over 725,000 twitter followers who he regularly tweets to when asked a question that he feels is important enough to answer. This will make a follower feel closer to Rio just by him reading and replying to a fans twitter question.
On a different scale, US Tennis Star; Serena Williams has more than 1.9million followers on Twitter. With this many followers, it has made her job easier when advertising her appearance on American T.V channel HSN. Although you can’t say for definite, I’m sure that at least 5% of her followers would have tuned in to see their sporting star and may have even purchased a piece from her new designer line.
Time for the Dark Side. Although Twitter may connect users with their role models, it can also show them a side of that sportsman/woman that they didn’t know existed. A recent incident that lead to a possible fine/punishment was by Arsenal players Jack Wilshere and Robin Van Persie. When they both commented via twitter on a sending off against Van Persie in an international match against Barcelona, they avoid any consequences (and rightly so) because there was truth in their accusations. Another footballer (not as lucky as Wilshere and Van Persie) has faced a £10,000 fine due to a twitter post; Former Liverpool Striker, Ryan Babel. He was penalised for posting an edited picture of Referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United Shirt.
As many sports men/women will tell you, they have all faced the harsh world of rumours and gossip. During the last few days of March, a worldwide trending topic caught my eye; R.I.P Jackie Chan. For some of you that haven’t heard of Jackie Chan, he is a martial arts expert and well known actor. As this news was trending, most people could assume that it was true, however it was confirmed by his representation along with a comment from the very alive and working Mr Chan that he is in fact, alive.
How long will it be before sports men/women fall into PR problems? With most sports stars using Twitter to relieve their feelings of current issues in their sport, is it only a matter of time before their reputations go down the drain or, will they become more loved for speaking honestly and truthfully?